pywwt: WorldWide Telescope from Python

About

WorldWide Telescope is a free and powerful visualization engine developed by the American Astronomical Society that can display astronomical and planetary data. The two main versions of WorldWide Telescope are the cross-platform HTML/WebGL-based “web client”, and a Windows desktop application. Both versions can access a large (multi-terabyte) collection of astronomical survey data stored in the cloud. WorldWide Telescope is designed to be useful to a wide audience, including researchers, educators, and the general public.

The pywwt package allows you to embed the WorldWide Telescope interface in a Jupyter notebook, control it, and display arbitrary astronomical and planetary data sets in it. It also provides:

  • A standalone Qt viewer/widget
  • A client for the Windows version of the WorldWide Telescope application
A WWT screenshot showing exoplanets in the Kepler field overlaid on a background sky map.

A map of exoplanets in the Kepler field rendered over background imagery by pywwt.

This package is still under development and functionality is still being added. Please do let us know if you try it out and run into any issues (see Getting help).

Quick start

The quickest way to see what the pywwt can do is to run some of our example Jupyter notebooks in the cloud: open them up at mybinder.org.

Getting help

If you run into any issues when using pywwt, please open an issue on its GitHub repository.

Acknowledgments

Work on pywwt is funded through the American Astronomical Society WorldWide Telescope project.